1. Dear Marco,

    thanks for this great input. The radio projects you mention seem to be very interesting. I especially like to emphasize the importance of the participatory aspect. In the past radio has been used as a propaganda tool and in the hands of the wrong people it can do a lot of harm. I found an interesting documentary on this topic the other day. It is about the impact that radio played in the Rwanda conflict. This is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NH_ktSwnA-4

    I believe that more democracy and more unheard voices on the radio are needed to create a lasting reconciliation.

  2. Matthew Robinson

    This is an interesting article in the sense that it highlights some effectiveness, and possible outcomes of using a form of media many of us might already have dismissed as obsolete, at least within daily life.

    For me, one of the most interesting aspects of participation in this medium (in this instance) is from former soldiers. Not only can radio inspire such people to change their views and actions (as with other forms of media), but it gives a voice to those who many might believe deserve none, especially after, for example, being a child soldier and causing wartime atrocities. Sometimes it’s good to let the opposition speak, as a way to learn what they are, or were thinking, and why.

    My only doubt, with these examples at least, is with regards to political intent. Surely there are noble objectives that these radio stations set out to achieve, but whose objectives are they? Often the people backing or funding a media programme are the ones deciding what is broadcast. Is this really a grass-roots movement when foreign governments are in control?

  3. Eleni Maria Rozali

    Very interesting article Marco and it reminds us of the power the radio has in communication. There is a certain familiarity and reliability that can be attributed to this median, that we [as a society] tend to overlook

    I think that nowadays with the embedment of the Internet and social media into contemporary society’s structures, we pay more attention to the new forms of media and forget the constructive power of older medians.
    I personally feel that any form of media, that enables and empowers people to voice their realities, has a place in society, no matter how old it is.

    It is interesting to see the radio and technology, for that matter as “artifacts that may be both shaped by and shaping of the practices humans use in interaction with, around and through them”
    The radio as a median provides the affordance to people who use it, to convey their message in the hope of agency, “to exert pressure on decision-makers […] the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2005, p.329)”.

    Mediated communication theory is also a very interesting aspect when you think of this: defined as “the relationship between the affordances…of different mediated technologies and the communication that results from using those technologies” (Whittaker, 2003).
    On the other hand, Grounding theory breaks media affordances into [media] Constraints (inherent characteristics of a communication
    medium), that affect media costs (subjective assessments by users
    of the appropriateness of specific communicative behaviors). The theory predicts that people both choose media and choose methods of media use in a way that (1) satisfies their communicative purposes and (2) minimizes the “collaborative cost” of communication, i.e., the cost minimization extends across participants

    Jeffrey Juris – Reflections on #Occupy Everywhere: Social media, public space, and emerging logics of aggregation
    AllisonWoodruffand PaulM.Aoki © Copyright 2003 Palo Alto Research Center.
    Media affordances of a mobile push-to-talk communication service

  4. Marco

    Thank you for all the interesting points you raise!
    I agree that radio seems to be a medium that is overlooked sometimes! I found particularly interesting that in the cases I presented here it was the communities that demanded the use of radio.

    This is also adressing Matthew’s point in particular. It is true that many of the radio stations are backed up by foreign donor organisations, but I wouldn’t go as far as to say that such organisations determine what is broadcasted. The broadcasting range is short and the small stations are quite self-sufficient. The influence of foreign donors rather lies in the training of local people. The people are given the abilities to use the equipment. What they do with it is left entirely up to them.

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